Crisis warning for care for the disabled: The Church of England Newspaper, January 24, 2013 January 31, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: disabled, James Newcome, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mencap, Scope, Sense, social services, The National Autistic Society
Britain’s social care services are in crisis, the Bishop of Carlisle has warned.
Speaking in support of the report The Other Care Crisis, published this week by Scope, Mencap, The National Autistic Society, Sense and Leonard Cheshire Disability, Bishop James Newcome said “the social care system is failing to meet the needs of disabled people of working age.”
He noted the report “demonstrates how the social care system is failing to meet the needs of disabled people of working age.”
Much of the debate in government on social care policy had “centred on older people and the needs of an ageing population. But one-third of those who need care and support are under the age of 65, and the report shows how their lives have been affected by the care crisis.”
“Without support, disabled people find themselves unable to wash, dress, leave their house or communicate with others. This can leave them unable to work, study and contribute to society,” the bishop said, and “any solution to the current crisis must address their needs as well.”
Citing research from the London School of Economics, the charities have warned the government was underfunding social care support for the disabled under the age of 65 by £1.2 billion. They warned the social care system was “on the brink of collapse as a result of years of chronic underfunding by successive Governments” and that local councils were “in an impossible position of wanting to provide more support to the growing numbers of disabled people who require care, at a time when they are facing unprecedented cuts to their budgets.”
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope, stated “enough was enough.”
“This is shocking evidence of a system that has failed disabled people, effectively condemning them to a life without basic dignity and invisible to society. Times are tough for everyone but being able to eat, wash and leave your home is not a luxury. It is absolutely appalling that this is the sad reality of life for thousands of Britain’s disabled people,” he said.
Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, added that “no-one in this day and age should be left without the help they need to take a bath or dress in the morning, and live an everyday life just like everyone else. This new research reveals for the first time how many people are living in the care ‘gap’ and it is a disgrace. No Government and no right-thinking person should allow this to continue in their street, their town, their country.”
The coalition government has not issued an official response to the report, but Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tyler of Enfield, has urged the government to act, noting “For the Liberal Democrats, putting social care on a sustainable footing would be a bold and lasting political legacy – and working age disabled people need to be at the heart of that debate.”